Chapter Two - Culture

Chapter Two - Culture - Chapter Two Culture"I want all the...

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Chapter Two Culture
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“I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible… but I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” Mahatma Gandhi
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Culture: the basics What is “culture” ? What does the word “culture” mean to you ? What images does it conjure up? How would you define it ? How would you sum-up “American culture”? Hint: what words would you use to describe American culture?
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Some cultural images
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Culture – some common perceptions High culture, “high-brow”, “Kultur” Culture as equated to “civilization” Beethoven, Wagner, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Michelangelo,… Grand opera, haute cuisine, fine wines, museums, art galleries,… Anything on PBS… More than a whiff of intellectualism or snobbery with an air of inaccessibility. Low culture Beer, hot-dogs and baseball; the NFL; sports heroes,… Popular culture: TV, movies, talk-shows, reality shows, Geraldo, Oprah, Britney, popular music, video-games, the fashions of the day, designer coffees, fast food,… National culture Folk art, dancing, songs and costumes. National festivals: July the 4 th , Cinquo de Mayo, Guy Fawkes Day…. National heroes: Nelson, Wellington, Churchill, Washington, Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King… Fairy tales and myths: Robin Hood, William Tell, Paul Bunyan, Joan of Arc, Paul Revere…
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Culture – definitions “Improvements by mental or physical training; intellectual development, particular form, stage, or type of intellectual development or civilization.” OED (Oxford English Dictionary) “Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another.” Hofstede. “Culture is the shared ways groups of people understand and interpret the world… It is the way in which a group of people solves problems and reconciles dilemmas.” Source? A learned pattern of behavior representing shared values and beliefs within a particular group .”
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A model of culture Artifacts & Products Explicit – “tip of the iceberg” Norms & Values Behavioral rules Basic Assumptions Implicit beliefs – “ buried beneath the surface”
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Attributes of culture that will vary in significance and importance by society – some examples Context , space, time , information flow Orientation : past, present or future? Religion and other spiritual philosophies Public versus private behavior Lifestyle balance/time allocation Social class structure: status Education systems: objectives, funding, accessibility Food : types, availability, dining habits, personal habits Attitudes to women and minorities Traditions , public holidays and festivals Heroes, villains and traitors Attitudes towards welfare provision (state versus individual) Access to public goods ( e.g. museums) Crime and punishment: extent, severity,
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